George Walford: Editorial Notes (21)

On Saturday September 28 a police inspector, in search of a man who had earlier fired a shotgun at police, broke through the front door of a Brixton house with a revolver in his hand and shot an innocent woman. This was followed by rioting, with cars and buildings burnt and shops looted. It was reported that the woman, Mrs. Grace, may be permanently paralysed and that the inspector was under treatment for shock.

The event has made headlines and filled inside pages, as well as many television screens. And so it should have done. But is it only the people killed or injured by police who ought to receive so much attention?

According to the Sunday Times of 29 September this occurrence is the fourth in five years in which doubts have been raised whether police were justified in shooting. During those five years, how many innocent people have been killed by drunken drivers, and how much attention have their deaths been given by the newspapers and the television programmes?

Guns are dangerous things. So are cars. So is electricity. So is steam. So are trains, ships, aircraft and lifts. So is fire. Power, in any shape or form, is dangerous. So long as society continues to use power people are going to be injured and killed by it. It wasn’t only that inspector who shot Mrs. Grace, it was the society which uses power and in the course of doing so sent him through that door, pistol in hand, prepared to meet a blast from a shotgun.

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COMING EVENT
In IC18 we reported on a Conference held by the English Language Society in June 1985; they now announce a One-Day Seminar on:

INFORMATION OVERLOAD PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Speakers will include: Michael Harris, Ellis Hillman and George Hay
Place: Sherbrooke Teachers’ Centre Sherbrooke Road
London SW6 Date: Saturday, 16 November 1985
Time: 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Admission £2

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CORRECTIONS to IC20

On page 10, line 16, “Flower’s” should read “Flood’s.”

On page 19 the first line of the item HARD LUCK should continue: “was to appear on television’s Channel 4.” Also, we have been informed this would not have been a “first;” the (Anarcho-) Socialist Party have appeared on television before although one would not have thought it, to hear their complaints about being excluded from the media.

from Ideological Commentary 21, November 1985.